26 February, 2010
How To Mind Map Your Blog
"I must create a system,
or be enslaved by another man's,"
The Mind Map of The Colorist blog was posted a week ago Monday, and you may wish to do this exercise for your own blog. My goal in doing a mind map was to clean up my busy sidebar and sort out what kinds of data I may want for the new Blogger tabs.
The following describes how I did my mind map.
I began with the identified subject in the center of the blank page, and drew radii with subjects that I found easy to describe based on what I like to write about in the blog. The broad subjects included Art essays, Art History, My Art, The Art Blogging Community, Casey Klahn (it is my newsletter), etc.
I skipped the rule about using color (go figure!). I think in color when I draw, though - that's part of my whole job description. A rule I will follow next time is that one should pose the subject as a thesis statement or as a question, not just, "The Colorist." I should have written: "what are the components of The Colorist?"
Next, I consulted my labels, and then I described the sub-branches by associations of content with the main branches. For instance, "My Art" has several sub branches such as abstract and landscape genres. Also, the broad category of "Art Content" broke down into the associated subjects of "art philosophy" and "education."
The finding of links between the broad subjects, or a systems analysis of how subjects connect, was illustrated by double ended arrows running between the main branches. This is the most problematic area, and I think the worst represented by mind mapping. Systems are more complex than this 2 dimensional scheme, and they have multiple associations, not just those that are easily illustrated by an arrow. Anyway, the object was to get some systems identified, and to find groupings that will help me pull together types of content for my tabs and my sidebar widgets.
Below, I drew a pop-out that attempted to scheme some broad concerns of the blog. I want to keep my blog focused on ideas, and not so much on myself - people get bored with that. That's why I drew the overlap as a little bit of the artist's self, a better amount of content (ideas) and a whole lot of action (painting and drawing). The outside influences of culture and others I described as "world."
Like with the Borg, all ideas can be assimilated, but when you get the crew of the star ship Enterprise involved, all bets are off. I would say the same thing applies to the artistic mind. Artists are (or should be) the most individual souls on Earth. Systems that artists work within may not function for other offices. Create your own sets of ideas and make your artist's blog a "Mind Map" of your own personality.
Extreme Navel Gazing Links:
Disney Mind Map 1957
Funny gif by EFAmbros